Sounds familiar??

Here is the scenario………

Home counties and the commuter belt are filling up so the powers that be need a strategy to coerce people to move away from the normal domiciles and think geographically wider.  So central government offers a bribe (sorry an incentive) to see which suburban conurbations rise to the bait.

In the meantime Norfolk County Council applies in a response to this plea from central government to be a growth area and attract additional funding in return for building thousands of houses.

This additional funding could be used to complete shelved infrastructure projects like the Northern Distributor Road which would complete the Southern Bypass (A47) to make a circular bypass road for Norwich thereby protecting it from the ravishes of over-development.  Well even the bypassing of Long Stratton may get dusted down and rejuvenated!

So the controversial Joint Core Strategy is born by Norfolk County Council joined by District Councils in Broadland and South Norfolk with the City joining the quartet.  Even the lesser spotted Broads Authority throw their hat into the ring despite the fact that it seems to have disappeared into one of their own Broads only resurfacing if there is any sign of an encroachment onto the sacred Broads themselves.  This strategy gets developed by the unelected local government QANGO called the Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP) and calls for the construction of 37,000 new houses for local people in and around Norwich from 2015 to 2026.

However …….

An independent analysis of local authority’s provision of Affordable Housing by Shelter indicates that two local authorities within the GNDP quartet are actually over providing affordable housing and are in the top 5 of English councils in meeting the demands for this type of housing.  No real rush to build new ones then!

In addition an independent review of South Norfolk’s housing list by KPMG indicates that 70% of the people on the list shouldn’t been on it in the first place.   No real rush to build new ones then!

So what to do to fill all these new houses then? ………

Let’s persuade, force, cajole homeless people in London to get on a train from Liverpool Street until it stops and then the local council at the end of the line will be able to house you because they are over subscribing anyway so they have homes to spare.  By the way let’s make sure the trains are the fast ones that do not stop at Stratford, as we don’t want homeless people cluttering up the streets near the Olympics do we!

But what about all of the high-end houses that will be needed to provide a balanced portfolio? ……….

I know lets get all of the local MP’s together, a coalition maybe, and get them to campaign for a 90 minute high speed rail connection betwixt Norwich and London and commuters from the square mile will be able to live in the lap of luxury in those high end houses being advertised on the Underground particularly in the North East Growth triangle.

But what about those who don’t live near the rail station I hear you say…….

Well that’s all OK because we will get the A11 dualled and Long Stratton bypassed so they can drive to London much quicker.  Those that live in the new developments in the North East Growth Triangle will be able to use the NDR to get to the station or the train from Salhouse.  You know the one that only stops every other hour and is so full up at peak times that the Conductor cannot collect the fares due to passengers standing and blocking the aisles.

But isn’t this all a bit risky……….

No risk at all.  We will carry out the public consultation and pretend to listen to what they say and then carry on and implement the JCS come what may.  After all we need to build these houses in order to secure the additional income from the Community Investment Levy, New Homes Bonus and extra Council Tax from the new homeowners otherwise we will go bust as we haven’t put up Council Tax for the last three years.  How do you think the councils all got returned last year with bigger majorities!  Anyway as the GNDP is not elected we don’t have to hold meetings in public or even publish Minutes so no one will be any the wiser.  If the NHS can get away with not publishing their Risk Register for the changes that they are doing then so can we.

What if someone rumbles us? …

No one will bother, as local residents don’t care about stuff like this.  All they are interested in is whether their Council tax goes up or whether anyone builds in their backyard.  Anyway if they do kick up we will use our own in house legal team and PR people to fight them off using the NIMBY label.

Well have you heard about that settlement in Spain that has gone bust because they built thousands of new houses but no one wants to go and live in them? ……..

Yes I read about that at the weekend.  The place is called Pios a new town in the Guadalajara province of Castilla-La Mancha, which they will take over 7,000 years to pay back.  That will never happen here as a vast programme of overspending caused their problems and developers stampeded to put up housing estates they could never realistically hope to fill.

That will never happen here!  


  1. I understand that witnesses have seen security gaurds putting homeless people on trains at Liverpool Street. Other different wirnesses have seen the ads on the underground. What is going on?

  2. So we now have local authorities who see their principal role as an agency of Westminster. In the most recent Government initiative; City Deals, the GNDP on behalf of the City express their APPETITE for GROWTH. This is code for we will do anything for another hand out.
    This approach is easier once you have professional councillors who have no need to be responsive to their communities.

  3. No one openly refers to the approaches received by Local Councils from London Boroughs with offers of financial help in exchange for taking their difficult residents.

  4. It's clear that Councils are ignoring the wishes of their ratepayers and are totally out of control.

  5. How much longer will councillors continue to follow the disastrous advice of the leader of Broadland?

  6. I think many Broadland councillors are becoming deeply concerned about the leadership of BDC especially in the wake of the High Court judgement on the JCS and the waste of ratepayers money on the court action which they lost. The leader of Broadland was fully aware of the risks they were taking because the GNDP was warned at the EIP back in 2010 that the JCS was flawed. Unfortunately the Conservative majority at Broadland put their faith in the misguided leadership of Mr Proctor

  7. The GNDP have now constituted themselves as a Board, with three councillors from each Authority and the one Chief Executive who has been the most supportive of the Department of Communities and Local Government.
    They have now completed their plan to usurp the Planning Process since all the decisions will now be made before they reach the individual councils.
    In Broadland where less than 5% of Planning Applications are subject to committee scutiny anyway, the rule of the
    bureaucrats is almost complete.

  8. As Kimanis has pointed out, we have local authorities who see their principal role as being an agency of Westminster. But it doesn't stop there as we have a parish councils who are eager to follow their district council's demands and totally disregard their residents, "selling them down the river".
    So much for localism.
    When developer's money is also being accepted into the community then there are serious concerns as to where loyalties lay.

  9. I think the comment above is very mis-informed. The parish councils in all areas have to represent everybody. Unfortunately, some members of certain groups only beleve in freedom of speech for people who agree with them. The money given to any PC is a grant and can be spent in the village as people see fit. There are no strings attatched. If there were the PC would have to decline the money.When you mak accusations like this you should publish your name. When you give your name I will publish mine. I hope SNUB do not vet this comment as I do not agree with one of their members. I will wait and see

  10. I'll tell you what could be very interesting and 'eye-opening'!, which other Parish Councils have adopted developer funded trusts?, how many Parish councils have had so much attention lavished upon them from the District council, how many other Parish councils in the Broadland area have their own community representative officer appointed by Broadland District council?How many other Parish councils in the district have been handed monies to pay for circusses for their jubilee celebrations? How many other Parish councils in the Broadland area, the south norfolk area or the city areas which have developement proposals from developers have received money, offices and expensive over-night countrywide visits and architect competitions bestowed upon them, but I really wonder how all the other Parish Councils in the Broadland area would feel if they knew the preferences being given to 'little old Rackheath'Anon.

  11. I am the chair of Rackheath Parish Council and I really do not agree with anon. comments. If people have complaints they really should stand up and put their names to them. I always do. I try my best to do what is right for Rackheath. Maybe some of these Anon people should stand at the next election and give their free time up to serve their community. I have never received anything personnally for the years I have spent on PC, that includes trips or anything else. I will argue with anybody ( as my fellows councillors will vouch for) to get the best for this village. whether I agree with it or not. let's wait until the next election and hopefully all these people will come out of the crowd and put their name forward....
    Paula Lowe Chair of PC

  12. Brian Gardner Vice Chair of PC23 May 2012 at 20:38

    We will see you at the Jubilee Park Fete then Anon ! :)

  13. Ms.Chair of parish council, you fail to understand that to mount a legal challenge to a proposal from four authorities, who have untold monies and personnel at their disposal ( note; paid for by all of us) amounts to 1,000 fold in terms of 'time' and money sacrificed for the betterment of the community as opposed to what a parish councilor would 'willingly' give.The difference? do you really believe that members of SNUB 'Want' to spend their valuable time 'Fighting' unlawful council actions? the village looks to members of the parish council to represent their views regarding overdevelopement and if they feel are not being represented, WILL look to groups like SNUB to do so!.Anon.

  14. May I remind the Chair of Rackheath and her fellow Parish Councillors of the three public meetings which were held in the Church Hall.
    At each one of these meetings there was overwhelming opposition to the Ecotown and the Exemplar and the public left each of those meetings in the belief that the Parish council would do their duty to the village and oppose the Ecotowns.
    Over 3,000 people signed pettitions opposing the Ecotown and Exemplar and 600 of those people were actually residents of Rackheath.
    Broadland District Council conducted their own public consultation on the Exemplar in 2010 and 95% of the reponses from Rackheath residents said that they opposed the Exemplar entirely. In fact only 6 people actually supported the Exemplar.
    The Vast majority of the residents of Rackheath are expecting the Chair and her fellow councillors to carry out their democratic wishes and oppose the Exemplar.
    If Rackheath parish council intends to do what is right for the village then they must support the majority and inform broadland district Council that they also oppose the Exemplar.
    It will be futile to leave it until a planning application is made and the diggers are waiting ready to destroy the farmland and our countryside which we value so greatly.

    Ivan Smith

  15. Everyone is free to an opinion and luckly in this country we are free to voice that opinion. People are quite within their rights to support whoever they want, as long as it is legal. But, what I object to is nasty people making horrible comments under the ANON banner. You should not be allowed on this website or any other site to insult people who give up their own time to try to do whats best. I am surprised SNUB print this messages.
    But have the faith in your beliefs to put your name to them. Paula Lowe chair of rackheath pc

  16. Brian Gardner Vice Chair of Rackheath Parish Council24 May 2012 at 21:12

    Im glad you bought up the meetings at the Chuch Hall
    The Last Public Meeting held by SNUB at the Church Hall
    I counted 17 residents from Rackheath. Which Included Myself and Paula and two other Parish Councilors.
    17 residents out of ??

    Will be good to see you all at the Jubilee Fete on June 5th.

  17. Paula Lowes - You volunteer to do the job and we're all grateful that someone has the interest, the time and the dedication to do the job.

    Regretably, the net provides easy access to trolls, mudslingers and the like - and people who base opinion on less than complete knowledge of the facts. But, surely you're not asking SNUB to censor this input. Surely you do get the message that discarding inconvenient inputs - no matter how onerous - is what this is all about ?

    SNUB isn't a pc

    Jon Shepherd - Salhouse

  18. I know SNUB are not a pc. If you read my comment, it is personal mudslinging that I object to. This does SNUB no good, people do not like back stabbing being protected under the guise of free speach with ANON as a name. I have said and will always say, we represent everyone in Rackheath, man, woman and child. As Brian said, at the last SNUB meeting there were a handful of residents from Rackheath and a few of them were PC. I will not be reading or commenting of this blog anymore because myself and other pcs from all villages work very hard for no reward. we do this because we love the village we live in and want to make sure that it remains a great place to live.
    Paula Lowe

  19. Old Rackheath resident25 May 2012 at 14:16

    I was at that last packed meeting and sitting at the back I saw far more than 17 Rackheath residents there. Indeed afterwards I talked with quite a few New Residents who had come to the meeting to find out what was happening to their Village as they had moved to Rackheath to get away from the Norwich urban sprawl and were worried sick about the proposed new town.

  20. David Hastings25 May 2012 at 14:46

    We must never forget that a only a few months ago some faceless people tried hard to discredit this Residents Web-Site which made SNUB start to study all messages. Surely all Parish Councillors should read this Blog in order to keep up with what their residents are thinking.
    Those people and their supporters who wish to dump a new town the size of Aylsham on valuable farmland beside our village of Rackheath will go to any length to achieve their aims and profits, regardless of the problems this will cause to Rackheath, Salhouse, Plumstead, Thorpe End and Wroxham.
    At the GNDP meeting yesterday we saw that the ruling of the Judge that the previous consultation was unlawful meant nothing to them. They are giving Parish Councils just ONE month to consult and like last time they have chosen the month of August when some Parishes do not meet and many residents are away on holiday. Is this really Democracy at work.

  21. Green Lane resident25 May 2012 at 17:54

    I greatly admire Brian Gardner but I have to take his figures with a large pinch of salt. I defy anyone to know and recognise all the residents of Rackheath, especially all the new ones who have arrived in the last year or so. Sorry Brian but this sounds like Broadland SPIN.

  22. Rackheath member25 May 2012 at 18:01

    I have to agree with the Old Rackheath Resident as we were at that last meeting. Yes we saw some small groups from Salhouse, Plumstead, Thorpe End, Wroxham and NENTAG but it was good to see them supporting us in our battle to save our lovely village from being swallowed up and destroyed by a high density URBAN town. However I can assure you that there were far more than 17 residents present. We all sttended as we wanted to know how the Legal Challenge mounted by a member of Salhouse was going and also Our Petition which over 720 of us in Rackheath gladly signed.


  24. So Mr Gardner you know everyone who lives in Rackheath, I don't belive you can do.
    I have lived here since 1967 that's 45 years and I can honestly say I had never met you or had an inkling who you were until I attended one of the Rackheath P.C. meetings about 3 years ago. I attended the Trust meeting last Friday and can honestly say I knew just 4 people, namely, Fran, Lorna, Paula and yourself and Of course Mrs Flack. The other directors were ucompletely unknown to me and I doubt I would recognise them again if I saw them.
    I attended the Rackheath P.C. meeting again this monday and although I have been several times before I can honestly say I only recognised you, Paula, Lorna and Mr Bell.
    Your determination to discred any proof that majority of Rackheath residents are opposed to the Ecotow shows that you want it although you did not have the courage to say so when asked at the P.C meeting.
    Could it be that You and your wife have businesses that you think might profit from another 200 houses?

    Ivan Smith

  25. Well Brian Gardner, if there were only 17 Rackheath residents at that meeting then they still outnumber the 6 who voted for it in that Broadland poll.
    However I find it difficult to believe that you or anyone else to be able to pick 17 out in a crowded room of some 200 people. What about the previous public meetings that the Parish Council organised? I went to those.
    How many people were Rackheath residents at those? I certainly remember a very angry crowd in a packed hall and I'm certain by their strong feelings they must have been Rackheath residents.
    I don't think they would be from Salhouse because their Parish Council is only too happy that it's Rackheath so it keeps the likelyhood of development away from them.

    another Old Rackheath resident

  26. Paula,
    You can't be representing everyone if you continue to ignore the 95% of Rackheath residents that oppose the Exemplar.

    Ivan smith

  27. Thank you all for your comments. We shall no longer be publishing comments on this post as both sides have now set out their arguments.